The mahalabiya cream is perfectly perfumed with rose water and cardamom. On top it has a light strawberry jam, and some pistachios! It’s really good and has a velvety texture that enhances the delicacy of this cream, and gives the impression that we are eating a luxurious dessert, thanks to rose water and cardamom.

In two words:

“What considerations make the thing desirable?”

To Start...

difficulty easy
cooking - 10’ (for the milk) + the necessary time to thicken the cream (~10-15’) + 10’ (for the light strawberry jam) + 10’ (to roast the pistachios)
serves - 3  


for the cream

  • 1 cup of milk
  • ½ cup of caster sugar
  • 9 cardamom pods
  • 3 teaspoons of corn flour
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon of rose water

for the topping

  • 125gr of strawberries
  • 1 + ½ teaspoons of caster sugar
  • 1 + ½ teaspoon of rose water
  • 2 cardamom pods
  • 1 + ½ teaspoon of shelled pistachios


for the cream

  • Add the heavy cream in a bowl
  • In a small casserole, add:
    • the milk
    • the sugar
    • the cardamom pods, cracked and pressed with a knife (*)
  • Start stirring with a whisk in a medium-low heat
  • When it starts to boil, lower the heat to low
  • Continue stirring with the whisk for 5’
  • Remove from heat
  • Start beating the heavy cream with an electric mixer
  • Add the corn flower in batches and continue stirring after each addition
  • Turn on the heat to low and place the milk on top
  • Add slowly and by batches the mix cream/corn flour, and continue to stir with the whisk
  • Slowly a slightly thick cream will start to form
  • You need to remove it from heat when it’s thick but still a bit liquid
  • Pour the cream on top of a sieve into a bowl big enough to hold it
  • Add the rose water and stir with the whisk
  • Pour the cream into the verrines (small cups made with glass or ramekins), and let them cool

for the topping

  • Preheat the oven at 180°C
  • Roast shelled pistachios for 10’
  • Once they are cold, slice them roughly with a knife
  • Wash and remove the greens from the strawberries
  • Drain them well with a bit of paper towel
  • Slice them in small dices
  • Slice the cardamom pods in half and remove the seeds
  • In a small casserole, add the strawberries and:
    • the sugar
    • the rose water
    • the cardamom seeds
  • Bring it to a boil
  • Lower the heat to low and let the liquid evaporate (~10’)
  • Let the mix cool down

bring it up together

  • Pour some strawberry jam on top of each verrine or ramekin
  • Sprinkle some roasted pistachios on top
  • Place them into the refrigerator for 4h-5h or over night
  • Eat it cold
  • Really good !
  • :-)

What’s the story behind this recipe?

The mahalabiya is a cousin of the Italian panna cotta but it has an even smoother texture and a more oriental character thanks to rose water! This cream has its roots back in the 7th century in Persia, and it was passed over to the Arabs in the 10th century! It’s a delicate dessert, which is perfectly perfumed with rose water and cardamom; it’s a wonderful and unique combination!


The recipe on the site of mahalabiya on the site epicurious.

(*) when you crack and press the cardamom pods with the knife, you open them a little and thus you help them infuse better in the milk 

o-o C'est si bon ! o-o

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